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Spotlight on Commerce: Robin D. Bush, U.S. Economic Development Administration (Commerce Blog)

Darmika Stanfield, U.S. Economic and Development Administration I manage the environmental program and the investment strategies of the Chicago Regional Office (CRO) of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). My primary responsibility is to administer the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act as they apply to programs of EDA within the six-state region of the CRO. I also advise CRO staff on strategies that guide EDA investments in the region. I represent the Chicago office on environmental related matters with state and federal regulators. I review and assess investments based on their applicability and conformance with NEPA and NHPA. I also, prepare and update the investment strategies and plans for the CRO and train staff on the strategies and plans.

I grew up in Buffalo, New York. I was bussed to elementary school and high school that was in a white, middle-class area because my parents thought I would get a better education. I really enjoyed the diversity of my elementary and high schools and thinking back it made me a better person. I decided I wanted to grow up and do something to make neighborhoods, communities, and cities more integrated, racially and economically.

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Spotlight on Commerce: Darmika Stanfield, U.S. Economic and Development Administration (Commerce Blog)

Darmika Stanfield, U.S. Economic and Development Administration As a Congressional Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), I work hard every day to do my part in improving the quality of life for hundreds of communities. By working closely with EDA regional officials and congressional representatives, I do my best to help advance a foundation for sustainable economic growth throughout the United States. Working for the federal government for a little over 14 years has given me an opportunity to explore a path that ultimately led to this awesome career and now I have the greatest satisfaction in creating a sense of community.

I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., in a two-parent household where it was ingrained in me to never define myself by a single idea. As the youngest child and only girl of three, I knew very early that the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, and to show people something different rested in me.

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U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic and Development Administration officials accept awards from the Partnership for Public Service at the 2017 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government awards breakfast in Washington, D.C.

Commerce and EDA Officials accept awards from the Partnership for Public Service at the 2017 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government awards breakfast in Washington, D.C. Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce was named the third best place to work in the federal government among large agencies in a survey released by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization. Today, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration Lisa Casias accepted the award on the department’s behalf at the 2017 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government awards breakfast in Washington, D.C.

This ranking, which represents a 1.3 percentage point increase in index score from 2016 to 2017, makes clear that we are focused on promoting job creation and economic growth by ensuring fair and secure trade, providing the data necessary to support commerce, and fostering innovation by setting standards and conducting foundational research and development.

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Year in Review: EDA’s Five Most Popular Stories of 2017

The following press releases, newsletter features and success stories generated the most attention on EDA’s website in 2017 and encompass our mission to create conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all Americans.

#1 – U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $17 Million to Accelerate Entrepreneurship Across the Nation to Move Ideas to Market, Create Jobs, and Promote American Innovation

Sept. 20, 2017 (press release) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that 42 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states will receive over $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

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Incorporating FDI in Economic Development: How the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Helps

As chair of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), SelectUSA works across the federal government to coordinate and streamline policies and programs that affect foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. A significant part of that mission includes making resources readily available to the public, which is why SelectUSA and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) came together for the latest edition of the SelectUSA USG Webinars last month.

This webinar helped participants gain a thorough understanding of how EDA works with eligible grantees to support local strategies designed to attract FDI.

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Supporting America’s Communities Impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria (Commerce Blog)

Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston to aid residents in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey, August 27, 2017 (Texas Army National Guard/1st Lt. Zachary Wes) At the Department of Commerce, we’re committed to partnering with communities who are recovering from the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Since the initiation of disaster response efforts prior to landfall in August and September, the Department has been leveraging the strategic guidance and technical expertise available through our many diverse bureaus to serve the recovery needs of the communities affected by the recent hurricanes.

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Spotlight: Jobs and Capital: How the Regional Innovation Strategies Program Helps Push the Economy Forward

November is Entrepreneurship Month During National Entrepreneurship Month, as we celebrate the dynamic startups and entrepreneurs all over our nation that are building innovative businesses and making America more competitive with new jobs, cutting edge technology, and stronger regional economies, we pause to reflect on our flagship platform for innovation and entrepreneurship, the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

Launched in 2014, this national grant competition works to help support and amplify the best organizations, practices, and resources local communities are using to aid their entrepreneurs build and scale high-tech, innovative businesses in order to create new jobs and strong regional economies.

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Success Story: University of Texas at Austin & True Wealth Ventures Partner to Help Female-Founded Startups Access Elusive Venture Dollars

University of Texas at Austin Seal Recent research in the high tech entrepreneurship world finds companies that are most inclusive of women in top governing positions traditionally outperform other companies with less diversity, demonstrating 35% higher return on equity and 34% better total returns. Yet, only 2.19% of total global venture dollars are going to female-founded startups, despite the workforce being comprised of 50% female, and 36% of small businesses (PDF) being owned by females.

In 2016, the University of Texas Austin’s Dell Medical School (UTADMS) partnered with True Wealth Ventures to change this untapped opportunity. > Read more

Highlight: Baltimore Food Enterprise Center Opens!

Baltimore Food Enterprise Center (BFEC) A November 14, celebration attended by EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth Holt and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, heralded the grand opening of the Baltimore Food Enterprise Center (BFEC).

With the help of a $1.4 million EDA investment in the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition - the developer of the project - the BFEC provides production and teaching kitchen facilities that support the creation of new job opportunities, job training opportunities, and support for aspiring food entrepreneurs.

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Spotlight: Manufacturing is Key to Building Stronger Communities

Vice President Pence Visits Tendon Manufacturing in Cleveland, Ohio on 6/29/17 - The White House Manufacturing is a critical economic sector where workers develop and use the latest technology and build lasting, meaningful careers.

With 12.4 million employees in the U.S. producing goods that are consumed domestically or exported abroad, manufacturing is one of the keys to building stronger communities.

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Success Story: Recent EDA Investments in Missouri and West Virginia Support Local Efforts to Grow their Manufacturing Base

Vice President Pence Visits Tendon Manufacturing in Cleveland, Ohio on 6/29/17 - The White House On Manufacturing Day, October 6, 2017, EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs (DAS-RA) Dennis Alvord joined Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to break ground on Ranken Technical College’s new Manufacturing Inc., incubator facility.

Ranken is a private, non-profit, degree-granting institution of higher learning whose primary mission is to provide the comprehensive education and training necessary to prepare students for employment and advancement in a variety of technical fields.

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